Mary Ann Mobley was born in 1939 in Mississippi. She was Miss America of 1959. She starred opposite Elvis Presley in two movies in 1965, “Girl Happy” and “Harum Scarum”. Gay Collins was born in 1938 in Venice, California. His film debut was in 1962 in “The Pigeon that took Rome” with Charlton Heston and Elsa Martinelli. His other films include “Angel in my Pocket” and “Killer Fish”. He and Mary Ann Mobley had been married since 1967. He died in 2012 aged 74.
Legendary TV actor and presenter, Gary Collins, has died.
The star passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning at the age of 74, and his death was said to be from natural causes.
The tragedy took place just before 1am at Biloxi Regional Medical Center in the American state of Missouri, according Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove.
He married former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley in 1967 and the couple – who separated last year although remained wedded – had one child together, Mary Clancy Collins, Senior Vice President of Development for MGM Television.
He was previously married to Susan Peterson with whom he had two other children, Guy William Collins and Melissa ‘Mimi’ Collins.
The master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant from 1985-1989 is also known for having appeared on episodes of programmes such as Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels, Alice, The Love Boat and Police Story.
Collins also hosted the talk show Hour Magazine from 1980-1988.
IMDB entry on Mary Ann Mobley:
Born on February 17, 1939 in Biloxi, Mississippi, Mary Ann Mobley is one of the few Miss Americas to have true success as an actress or television personality (the others areBarnaby Jones (1973) beauty Lee Meriwether, television hostess Phyllis George, Consumer advocate/game show panelist Bess Myerson and Eraser (1996) heroineVanessa Williams). After serving as Miss America 1959, Mobley soon became a sought-after guest star in episodic television of the 1960s, appearing on many hit series of that era – Perry Mason (1957), Mission: Impossible (1966), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964),The Virginian (1962), to name a few. Her most important contribution to 1960s popular culture, though, was appearing opposite Elvis Presley in two films – Harum Scarum (1965) and Girl Happy (1965). Her success in film led to a 1965 Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer, an award she shared with Mia Farrow and Celia Milius. She also starred in a number of other B-movies of the 1960s, such as Get Yourself a College Girl (1964) andFor Singles Only (1968).
Her television and film output decreased in the 1970s as she raised her daughter, Clancy Collins White, with her husband, Gary Collins. During that decade, her television appearances were mostly guest roles on series such as the iconic series Love, American Style (1969), Fantasy Island (1977), The Love Boat (1977) and the game show Match Game 73 (1973), on which she was a frequent panelist alongside such other famous wiseacres as Betty White, Brett Somers, Patti Deutsch and Charles Nelson Reilly. She and Collins also appeared a number of times performing death-defying high-wire acts and other athletic, outrageous stunts on the annual television event Circus of the Stars(1977).
In the 1980s, she starred as stepmother “Maggie McKinney” in the final season ofDiff’rent Strokes (1978), appeared in a recurring role as alcoholism counselor “Dr. Beth Everdene” on the prime-time soap opera Falcon Crest (1981) and continued to pop-up as a guest star on series like Hotel (1983) and Matt Houston (1982) and game shows likeThe Hollywood Squares (1965) and Body Language (1984). She also acted as her husband’s frequent guest co-host on his successful talk shows Hour Magazine (1980) andThe Home Show (1988), as well as on installments of the Miss America Pageant. In the 1990s, she made guest appearances on the sitcoms Designing Women (1986), Hearts Afire (1992), Hardball (1994) and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996). She and Collins were also hosts of an oft-run late 1990s television infomercial for “SelectComfort”, a specialty bed product. Also during the 1990s, she toured in the popular play, “Love Letters”, with her husband, and performed a cabaret act at the Cinegrill in Hollywood.
Mary Ann and other “Match Game”/”Hollywood Squares” regulars of the 1970s and 1980s (such as Charo, Nipsey Russell, Paul Lynde and Jo Anne Worley) were riotously spoofed on Saturday Night Live (1975) in a 2002 game show sketch called “Super Buzzers” withTina Fey playing Mary Ann. Mary Ann and her husband soon got a chance to demonstrate their own good humor, appearing as themselves in a satiric infomercial parody on the Showtime series Dead Like Me (2003) in 2003 (the fake infomercial was for a no-effort bodytoning contraption – which spontaneously com-busts!).